As someone who has started his career in sales, been a sales manager and leader, this graphic drives me crazy for a number of reasons.
These purported statistics are completely made up! There is no National Sales Executive Association, nor did they publish any study. Or perhaps they simply removed themselves from Google’s index. There was some chatter on various blogs that these statistics might be from the National Association of Sales Professionals, but I couldn’t find it there either.
Secondly, these are ridiculous claims. Let’s parse a few of them:
48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect
Is this saying, of all the sales people out there almost half of them never, ever followed-up with a prospect no matter what? Or does it mean that 48% of sales people haven’t followed-up with a prospect at one time? I can guarantee that the second interpretation is true, and it’s also a necessary fact. Despite the best efforts of the marketing team, some leads and prospects are not worth following up with. We call that qualification, and the best sales people are very discerning on how and when they spend their time.
2% of sales are made on the first contact
I can think of a big company, Staples, that has sales people who take calls from clients buying office supplies who make many, many sales on the first contact. Are we including them in this statistic? Or Groupon? In the time-share business, as I learned from the great movie Queen of Versailles, over 90% of their sales come on the first contact. I could go on with more examples, but you get the idea.
If the point of these ‘statistics’ to illustrate that sales people should build relationships with their prospects, then I’m all for that, but let’s not pass them off as truth.